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I tried the suggestion by Rocky and included Janet's suggestion. When Dinah was doing her mouthing thing, I took her ... by both dogs. I take this as dog play, but watch to see if anything develops - nothing has yet.

I don't claim to be a dog psychologist or behaviorist, but my take this is that playbiting is a normal part of dog play and is acceptable among dogs, who have ways of letting each other know when they've gone too far. So when they try it on us, it is not so much because they are looking for something to chew, but because they want to play/interact with us. (Which is probably why your girl isn't really interested in the chewable: it's interactive play she's looking for.) Unfortunately, playbiting is a way of interacting that humans don't tolerate. So we have to teach them that it is not acceptable to do it with us. Sounds like she's gotten the idea.
I tried the suggestion by Rocky and included Janet's suggestion. When Dinah was doing her mouthing thing, I took her ... by both dogs. I take this as dog play, but watch to see if anything develops - nothing has yet.

Hey, thanks for following up! It's nice to see how people apply the information they glean from this group.

Kate
and Storm and The Puppy to be Named Later, the FCR duo
Thanks for reporting back!
I tried the suggestion by Rocky and included Janet's suggestion. When Dinah was doing her mouthing thing, I took her ... moment and then dropped it. Today, day 3, when she started the mouth thing I said NO and she stopped.

I'm really glad it's working for you and Dinah. That said, more from my perspective:
I find it easier to work with a puppy's natural inclinations, rather than against them - for example, substituting whatever part of your body she wants to chew with a tug toy. She gets the best of both worlds: chew and play with you. Tug is a much better bonding exercise than is "no", though it may not have as an immediate a result.
I might point out that her mouthing is not initially directed to any part of me but is more generally directed so that my NO comes only when a part of my anatomy comes within range.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Jack said in rec.pets.dogs.behavior: Thanks for reporting back!

I tried the suggestion by Rocky and included Janet's suggestion. ... started the mouth thing I said NO and she stopped.

I'm really glad it's working for you and Dinah. That said, more from my perspective: I find it easier to ... Tug is a much better bonding exercise than is "no", though it may not have as an immediate a result.

I think that you are correct that tug is a good play alternative...and I hate to sound like if you say black, I'll say white...BUT...you have to decide first whether you want to encourage tug-of-war and keep-away. behavior in your dog. If you have a retriever you don't want to play tug, because you want them to always surrender objects easily. If you have a "mouthy" breed like a GSD, it's generally not recommended that you play tug with them either. (Well, I don't know what schutzhund people do.) Anyway, it's something to think about.
...If you have a retriever you don't want to play tug, because you want them to always surrender objects easily.

True. But a Bichon isn't a retriever by breed (although it may be by inclination or training). The OP's puppy is a Bichon, yes?
If you have a "mouthy" breed like a GSD, it's generally not recommended that you play tug with them either. (Well, I don't know what schutzhund people do.)

I don't know what schutzhund people do, but I know what I do. I teach them to "leggo" (as in, "leggo my eggo", not the building blocks). I play the game to my rules, not the dog's. (That means I'm allowed to cheat, but he isn't!)
I don't play keep away, but nobody ever told Sam that. One of the brightest memories I have of him is when I'd take him to the barn and he'd grab a big flat rubber feed pan, so big that it was about as long as he was. Up and down the aisle he'd run, showing everybody his prize. "You can't touch this!" I'd look up from mucking to see a feed pan levitating just outside the door. (I presume Sam was holding it, but he might have been able to do paws-off levitation. He had talents, that dog.) Or I'd see that feed pan sail past my peripheral vision. Goofy dog.
He'd do that with tennis balls, too. I used to hand him a tennis ball and let him run laps showing it off while Noah and/or Ranger and I played fetch. Sam would fetch, too, but he preferred zooming-with-ball, and who am I to argue? As long as he'd come when called (and he did), kept me in the loop (literally), and downed when I asked, he could pretend he was the Big, Bad Wolf, depriving my sad human self of a soggy tennis ball. He seemed to get great amusement from it, anyway.
...If you have a retriever you don't want to play tug, because you want them to always surrender objects easily.

True. But a Bichon isn't a retriever by breed (although it may be by inclination or training). The OP's puppy is a Bichon, yes?

Yes. I wasn't making the comment with an eye to the OP's dog, but as part of the general discussion. I figured he knew his dog wasn't a retriever!
He seemed to get great amusement from it, anyway.

It sounds like you did, too. What a great story!

Catherine
& Zoe the cockerchow
& Queenie the black gold retriever
& Rosalie the calico
If you have a "mouthy" breed like a GSD, it's generally not recommended that you play tug with them either. (Well, I don't know what schutzhund people do.)

Schutzhund people play tug with their dogs.
Anyway, it's something to think about.

I have, thank you.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
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